Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Loves



Phoebe:
Screaming NO, NO, NO, NO, NO....clutching her pillow, crying, screaming repeatedly....I rubbed her back and said: What is it?
And she replies: What?
You were screaming, having a nightmare?
I was? when? here?
Yeah, do you want to go potty?
Sure.

Playing that old favorite: Oregon Trail on my iphone.

Going through your twitchy cycle 6 times while I read you a book before bed, the night before school: Take a breath, hold it, twist ankles and wrists, stretch both sets of fingers by pressing them to your cheeks, both shoulders up, exhale. Repeat. I guess sometimes it's hard to talk about it huh?

The drama over getting the dangling-by-a-thread tooth pulled. At least I know your a fighter in the event you ever get kidnapped!

Lolly:
Holding hands while riding the subway. A mini mariachi band came in and played for us, you kept time while squeezing your hand in mine. And when it was over you said: "That was fun! .....and weird."

Getting brave in the ocean!
Requesting Braid Ponytails for your hair on Sunday. It turned out cute, even Phoebe wanted the same thing.
Multiple times a week I ask Lolly: "What's up?" Her reply is always: "Good!"

Mom, look, the booger I smooshedid is still on the couch.

The way you pronounce the word sure: "Shore"

I told Phoebe to turn her frown upside down and Lolly explained that a smile is not upside down, but up. She then showed me by smiling ("see? up.") and then frowning ("See, this is down")

Phoebe: How many kids are in your class?
Mom: 18
Lolly: No, 17.
Mom: Oh, I thought there were 18.
Lolly: No, 17. Me and EVERYONE ELSE
Mom: I'm doing the math and ME + 17 others = 18

Your first Swear. Oh boy. No more watching HAIRSPRAY. You lasted longer then Phoebz though, her first swear was around age 2.

Calling Rice Krispies, Rice-bees.

Lamenting about the boy in your class who wants to hold your hand, sit next to you at lunch and has already proposed apparently.

DH:
Helping us get to the beach the morning you left for your trip.
Being so hoarse after your BYU Game adventure in TX.
Taking care of dinner on Friday after another unexpected cavity.

Me:
A car turning right...slowed down when it saw the posse crossing ON the walk sign. Then, RIGHT as we were crossing in front, lurched forward within inches of us. I hit that car with my purple (Hagrid-like) umbrella and said: "Are you FREAKING kidding me?" Then hit it again. Oh yeah, I was a force to be dealt with.
Looking to my brighter future.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gratitude.

Grateful.

~Lolly is in the right place at the right age, at the right time. She is blossoming in her new school. If this blog were private I would not stop running my mouth about it. I am so thrilled and so grateful. If only I could share with you the names of the kids in her class....inspirational.

~Phoebe is adjusting to school pretty well. She is loving her homework, not so much loving practicing.

~I have had the strength to stick to my guns and disengage from anxiety-filled activities/committees/people.

~Time I have to myself 4 days a week.

~Holds for a commercial and a print job. Maybe I'll book one of them. Ha! Yeah right.

~Fresh Direct, grocery delivery.

~The gym downstairs.

~Alarm clock that doesn't beep but sings me sweet classical music songs in the morning....and I'm getting up, and exercising!

~The weighted hula-hoop.

~Cough medicine.

~Books.

~My faith.

~Knitting projects.

~WL!

~Unexpected job on Monday

~Kristin Arthur at the Meat-Packing District Apple Store who fixed my iphone, and her shadow Sean who helped me download the app to check my minutes and text message numbers. I have 160 texts left until the 21st, so send me a message!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here comes the bride.


A Handful of Frames by Bob Curtis.

The man at the table called himself the Mayor of Coney Island. We spent a long time shooting with him. He was hard of hearing, had some pretty strong body odor and a happy spirit about him. I loved his chains and rabbits foot:

I liked the series we did at SHOOT THE FREAK. This one was hard on the abs, but it looks good:

My heels were the exact size of the cracks between the boards. I got my heels stuck about a million times. I am grateful they did not break, or that my ankle didn't break. I was the clumsiest bride on the boardwalk that day...ok, the only bride.

The Water was the perfect way to end the day. It was so hot out. The water felt SO good. The waves were a little rough and I got pummeled a few times.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review: The Attachment Connection

Mommy College!

Book 1: The Attachment Connection
By. Ruth P. Newton, PHD.

I'll be honest, I did not read every word of this book.

The reason? The bulk of the book discusses specific attachment/bonding techniques for newborns to toddlers, almost by month. I would have loved this book as a companion to WHAT TO EXPECT THE FIRST YEAR and Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving the First Year. However, one of my strengths as a mom is being intuitive to an infant. I was hoping this book would help me with CHILD-TEENAGER-ADULT intuition...you know, the REST of parenting, beyond those first few years.

However, I have come across some mommies who feel they cannot wait for the KID stage and are totally freaked out by Newbornness. To you, I say: hand me your baby! I will return them in about 20 months....

or, read this book.

I think it gives great ideas on how to become more intuitive to the way baby's communicate, especially through their body language (which is the only language they have no?), and provides a calm, happy place for mom, gives her tools to know just how to access that baby language that perhaps a mom has never heard spoken before.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Third Person Thursday

Every time she sees the neurologist, she finds herself near or in tears.

At her 18-month post HB08 appointment this week, she was sans kids (a rarity), had on her favorite pink sweater, and the nurse taking her blood was a fantastical expert, not even a pinch.

She said the words she needed to say, asked the questions she needed to ask:

"So...remember when you said that at my 2-year anniversary we could talk about weaning off the meds?"

The doctor started talking about treating beyond brain, treating anxiety, depression, headaches (which she doesn't recall having or mentioning), and so she started worrying that she was going to be introduced to new medicine...more medicine. Then the doctor made a turn and surprised her with agreeing to weaning off at year 2. She said: "You will have to avoid driving for probably 2 months though."

She responded: "That is NO problem, I am totally fine with that. I'll wear a helmet around town if I need to."

The doctor sort of smiled, maybe a little...she's pretty serious.

When she pictured this conversation in her head, it always ended this way: "Well, I know I said that, but you're going to have to stay on this medicine for the rest of your life."

She was so happy that it ended differently, she almost cried. Almost. Her smile was too big for tears.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Photo.

More to come...but this is how I feel about the proofs!



Photo by Bob Curtis
Dress by Carrie Lundell
Husband: Tyler Walz


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Camping: Post 2

Last year when we went camping, I under-packed food. We were hungry.

This year I decided to try a foil-dinner. I threw together some veggies in foil. I did look it up on google for a few tips, but it was crunchy after a really long time near/in/on-top-of the fire. We were so hungry, we tried to endure the crunchy veggies. Phoebe bit into a hard-as-rocks potato and exclaimed: "MOM! I KNEW you cooked this too long!"

No honey, that would be, not long ENOUGH.

Jason fixed it somehow, and despite the salt that I forgot to douse on the veggies back at home, it was pretty tasty. Or bellies were full and warm:

In the morning I made hot cocoa! I was so impressed with myself! And then I made chocolate-chip pancakes! After that wonderfully warm breakfast in the wilderness, I had a breakthrough thought: Now I know what it is like to be a HAPPY CAMPER!

Guys, I was ACTUALLY....HAPPY ....while CAMPING!

Since the crew with the smores were so late in arriving the night before, we had smores for breakfast too, and for mid-morning snack, AND for lunch. Tasty, delicious and nutritious.


Of course what made out camping trip all WORTH IT, was the joy that it brought our little ones. They had the best time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Camping: Post 1

We arrived to the camp site around 4:30. We were there for several hours before anyone else arrived.

As the temperatures dropped and the foil dinner was STILL CRUNCHY after the 3rd or 4th check of it, I decided perhaps our church congregation thought it would be funny to organize a WARD CAMPING TRIP in which no one showed up but us.

Another family showed up in time for a few camp songs before we retired. 3/4 of the Posse were in slumberland when the rest of the troops showed up after dark to set up their poor tents and find the bathrooms.

And to sum up the sleeping-in-the-tent part: It was cold. I dreamt about Jay Leno (he was leaving his theatre, and somehow I snuck in and saw a very secret rehearsal of a varietyish show that had to do with his new show on tv---so get your mind out of the weirdo gutter). It was cold. Lolly woke up like 4 times with funny whimpering "I'm cold" sounds, that Jason handled every time. I think I was in a coma the whole time from the cold. I don't think I actually got solid, good REM or whatever the good sleep kind of sleep is, just coma-cold sleep.

In the morning, I heard that 2 Filipino sisters in our group brought a noise-machine so that they could fall asleep. I found that endlessly funny.

Lolly's favorite part was the caretaker's dog Peanut, who she renamed Coconut, who spent quite a bit of time with her. They were best friends.

Phoebe's favorite part was everything.

My favorite part was finding 2 different kinds of frogs by accident, using the very nice bathrooms (only twice in 20 hours, I think I needed to drink more water), only getting two tiny bug bites, and the food (stay tuned for post 2).




Sunday, September 20, 2009

Birthday

Dear Mommy,

Thanks for being such a wonderful mom. You inspire me everyday as you focus so much love and attention on every individual in your family. I am also quite impressed with your efforts to take care of your body through food and exercise. I love your age-appropriate, but still NOW, style, and love that your cosmetics drawer is full of MAC cosmetics.

Thanks for being a stupendous grandmother to my children, who adore you and beg to come live with you quite often. Have a wonderful birthday!

Love, ME




Saturday, September 19, 2009

Parking Day 2009


I have heard about Parking Day for a few years, but this year I decided to try to find some PARKS!

I mapped out 5 parks.

Lollz and I checked out 4, 2 of which were not there, and we ran out of time for #5 because we had to get camping.

The disappointing part was the parks that were not there (it's possible we were too early, I didn't pay much attention to the times listed on the website, whoops), and the fact that we didn't allow enough time to explore.

We stayed the longest at Fordham University's Shakespeare in the Parking Spot. There were art supplies, furniture made out of cardboard, a stage, audience, and performances of songs and Shakespeare scenes and monologues.

Lolly got right to her art (a change since she started school...usually she insists someone else draw her something). She drew an orb-like shape, filled it in with the same color and called it a rectangle. It's a new-age rectangle I guess.


We also adorned the sidewalk with some signage, using the provided sidewalk chalk. It was fun hanging out, and we learned that next year we will devote more of our day to scoping out the parks, most of which are located downtown.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Camping

Coming to you from the west side highway... I'm going camping, and 2 guesses how I feel about that.

However, I did put together a foil dinner, that I hope turns out well... I'll let you know.

Lolly and I hit up a few parking day parks, I will report on that later too. Have a nice weekend.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Third Person Thursday

She went to a concert.

It was the second day of school, and that night she had to go. And she did not want to go. She was grumpy and just wanting to stay home in her pajamas and have a meltdown just like the girls had. Her husband asked if she would change her attitude once she got there....no thank you.

But the thing about music is that it can change attitudes, lift spirits, affect people. She was affected.

The Shanghai String Quartet, with their bow ties and their wedding rings on the right finger (she and her husband switched theirs to the right hand in honor of Shanghai), and the disturbing Debussy they played, she was moved.

Next up, Ljova and the Kontraband. Sounds new to the ears, listening to this composition, especially "The Old Apartment" kept her awake when she was at most risk for snoozing...early bedtime and all.

After intermission, Nauman Khan Lasharie, who she is pretty sure is Pakistani, brought a new (to her) flavor to the stage. She loved the beats and especially the very non-Pakistani musicians playing it deadpan, with the exception of Tabla player Nitin Mitta, who she thought was just fantastic.



The grand finale was Ms. Mary Wilson of the Supremes. She came on stage with a frock similar to the blue one shown in the youtube video below, only it was gold, and Ms. Wilson dramatically stepped out of it, towards the end of the song: Here's To Life.



After Mary's torch songs is when she and her husband started feeling a little uncomfortable...like maybe the evening was coming to a slow, dead halt. Thankfully Ms. Wilson turned to her Supremes standards, brought out her back up singer and violist Ljova to spice up My World is Empty and You Can't Hurry Love. The audience was pretty mellow, so she was surprised when Ms. Wilson invited/encouraged audience members to come to the stage.

She noticed an overly eager fan (with a glitter-beaded yarmulke) who REALLY wanted to be on stage with Ms. Wilson. As he headed up she thought: I cannot let this crazy man alone with Mary Wilson on the stage. She thought he was a little too crazy. So, she headed up as well.

She decided that she needed to diffuse his overly-sexual dancing, (picture gyrating motions toward the poor woman trying to sing an innocent little Supremes song), by imitating him. So, she did. She had a great time, and her attitude suddenly improved exponentially. She loves a stage after all.

When it was all over, she forgot that there was an audience full of people watching her dance...she was surprised by the comments: You are a great dancer....Are you an actor? That was the best part of the night....yadda yadda. She found the whole thing quite funny, especially since she was an invited guest of her CHURCH, members of which were occupying an entire row of the theatre.

She had to get home to the little ones, so only got one shot with Ms. Wilson on her way out...

She summed up her night with one word: Supreme.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Moment.

It's a Tales from the Crib Day.

Seriously, I miss that blog sometimes.

I have a few things on my mind that I think might come across really petty. So, in my new practice of increased empathy and awareness of my intention, I'm gonna think on it.

And leave you with this image:

Yeah, she did it herself...at the Mac store.

ps. In other news, I am on hold for a commercial, and guess what...I danced for the audition!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Visitor.

Cousin flattened himself and sent himself to us in the mail. We're having a good time showing him around the city.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 2 of Schoolio.


Wanna have this girl as a student?

So would I.

She's Rad.

Hey! Not doing anything today? How about you go and clean my house? Thanks....there's some carrot sticks in the fridge, have as many as you want.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mommy College

For the first time in my career as Mom, I have had this thought cross my mind: I can't do this.

I need to quit work.
I have to be here for my kids all the time, every second.
I have 2 kids in 2 different schools and I just can't do this.

And at the same time I called this a transition ahead of time. I knew it would be just that, a transition. I gave my energy to the children, to the home. I honed in on them. I let the computer stay off. I snuck glances at my iphone when they weren't around. I asked them questions about their experiences at school. I was empathetic. Guys, I had empathy.

They each had their meltdown moment(s). I caught them when they were about to fall. I dismissed negative energy that seeped in and really tried to be positive. I lost my favorite (seriously, it NEVER inside-outs) umbrella, on the train. I got 4 bug bites. I got drenched in the rain. I read the emails about how to prevent the swine flu. I filled out the paperwork, recruited my reliables to be the emergency contacts. I cleaned up after Lolly, reminding myself that I cleaned up after Phoebe when she was that age too.

I made some of the breakfast and some of the lunch. I practiced with Phoebe.

I tried to take a nap. I was interrupted 8ish times. I exhibited patience. The only time I lost it was when a car pretty much almost ran us over and I hit it with my purple ruffle umbrella and forgot about my speech therapy and yelled.

The past few days I have been thinking about how to spend my time to be my best mother self. I cracked the handbook for Lolly's school and saw a resource list of 35 or so books on parenting and education. And in my moment of: "I cannot possibly continue doing this," I thought, maybe I should do a little research.

I schlurpped back to the days when I first found out I was pregnant and all the reading and research I did. I learned so much about labor and delivery and surprised myself with the decision to go the natural/midwife route. And since then I have browsed just a few parenting books and I decided I need to browse some more. Because, the mothering thing....it's getting into the unknown territory now. I think I could do better. Now, I don't want to say I am going to commit to reading that entire list, but I do want to delve into some of those once I have that 4-hour time block, 4 times a week. Stay tuned.




Saturday, September 12, 2009

Therapy

It's a new therapy.

I've traded in behavioral therapy for speech therapy.

Oh yeah, good times.

My vocal chords have been out-of-whack for a while. I went to get their picture taken a month ago, and I have not seen swellings on my chords THAT big, EVER.

I almost ralphed on the doctor because he didn't numb my throat as he took the picture. He thought I could do it, oh no, my gag reflex is NICELY developed after those two babies I grew.

He suggested 6 weeks of speech therapy to bring down the swellings and to return for another examination/photo in 10 weeks time.

Off I went.

Speech Pathologist, Dr. Carroll is super smart and passionate about her craft and amazing and at first I felt about 5 years old in her presence. 4 weeks later, I am feeling around 10. At my first appointment she told me that if I do not speak every word of my day as a professional then what's coming out of my mouth is trash. Ouch.

My first task was to speak with more vowel sounds, less consonant clips. The first day Lolly was confused: Mom, why are you talking like that? Yes, it did take me about 24 hours to work it out. I began by speaking too high, but then I settled into my normal speaking register, but speaking in a way that is easier on my vocal chords.

My new routine is to sing before I speak for the day. I actually sing in the gym as part of my stretch routine. If someone else is there, I wait until they are properly plugged into their ipods before I sing a little.

To improve my voice and get healthy and sing better....is daunting and overwhelming and it's a crossroads. Can I do it? Can I practice? Can I warm-up each day? Can I speak healthy all the time? Will I?


Friday, September 11, 2009

I remember

New York City is having a good long cry today. I am carless and I have errands to run and I don't even care. I think this is the first 9/11 where the weather reflects how I feel about that day 8 years ago on the outskirts of our nations Capitol.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Third Person Thursday

She realized that it had been 18 months since HB08.

She was jogging on the treadmill when she realized it was just a few days away.

She realized that the past 6 months had overall been amazing. She sleeps less (this is good), wakes up in the middle of the night, dreams, rises to the alarm clock. She has more patience, awareness, she feels balanced.

She runs!

As her 30th birthday approached, she didn't feel festive or celebratory. Some good old friends happened to be in town on her birthday and she felt almost completely herself again, on her 30th birthday!

In May, she thought she suffered a seizure and she felt she had taken a giant step back. She explored that with her neurologist and after more tests that came back normal (she has yet to have an ABNORMAL one, except for a speck of blood from the concussion), her doctor said: If it's not your ears, it's anxiety, because it's not a seizure.

She had an AHA! moment. She knew her ears were FINE. And frankly, she would rather push out a set of quadruplets then go through the ear testing again.

So she stepped out of the office with a new thought, a new connection: What if my Anxiety is wearing an Epilepsy Coat?

From that day forward, whenever she felt any brain tingling, instead of giving into it and proclaiming it a Brain-Buzz-Day and lying down on the couch to ride it out, she would feel that little beginning of a buzz, stop, pay attention, and identify what was making her feel anxious. And...POOF! Gone. Buzz. Gone.

She has experienced a few exceptions, mostly to do with environment and/or hormones, but the amount of brain buzz she has experienced has gone down 95% since her AHA Moment!

She finds herself looking at her medical bracelet and imagining switching the charms out for a new charm: a lightsaber, superman logo, a bicep, a birdcage or just her initial. Her doctor said they could have a conversation about getting off meds at the 2 year anniversary. She's hoping that's going to happen in 6 months. She is willing to give up driving completely, heck, she'll wear a helmet to prevent another possible concussion if necessary. She just wants to remember that unmedicated, all-cylinders-firing-feeling again. She's much closer to that then she was 18 months ago, and for that she is grateful.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

First Day.

5:30 AM. Oh yeah. I'm back to that.

My morning jog was good this morning. Got me right on track for a full morning. The girls wanted their hair curled and we needed time to take a few pix before we leapt out the door.

The subway ride was pretty good, not as crowded as I expected and we arrived with several minutes to spare. After the chaos of the 2nd grade drop off, Lolly and I made our way to her school which is located the exact opposite place on the island as Phoebe's school. I will be spending a lot of time on the train this year. That's ok, I'm armed with my kindle and iphone, I could stay on that train all day.

Phoebe was giddy at school and excited to see her friends. She insisted on carrying her very full backpack all the way there. I think she was sweating by the time she got to school. Lolly sat patiently observing the kids arrive, and I observed the new parents. I reminisced on that first day of kindergarten, and how we missed the entire gathering, we were late.

Oi.

Lolly also insisted on carrying her new backpack though her first day today was just a playdate in the park. We rode a route that was new to us, but didn't make any mistakes and we arrived there on time as well. She has 3 teachers, and if I were to describe her experience with her new teacher's in one word, it would be LOVE. I am thrilled that their hearts are so open to these children and that my daughter has the opportunity to be cradled in it. Ya'll know my Lolly, school and Lolly---it makes me shudder a little, but after today, I know she is going to not only survive, but....yup...you know.




We had an extra long walk home from the park to the subway, so Lolly made a few calls to her Grammy and Samyo and Coco. Here she is, walking on the streets of NYC, chatting with her relatives about her great first day.

She's had a mysterious fever the past few days, but still seems herself. I tried to get her to nap, but she's rearing to go. We decided to make Milk Chocolate Chip Rice Krispie Treats instead: A tribut to my mom who used to have a plate of those or choc. chips on the counter when I got home from my first day of school, (and other times too).

It's going to be a good year.

Summer Round-up

And just like that, it's over.

We made a Summer Adventures List back in June and I am here to report what we got done.

GOT DONE:
Roosevelt Island Tram
Click, Clack, Moo
School Shopping at the Crewcuts Outlet
High Line
Chelsea Waterside Playground
Heckscher Playground
Playdates with 4 different sets of sisters, 2 sets of brothers and one brother/sister combo.
Chinatown
Birds at Bryant Park
brgr (shake shots)
Boston Market
Beach
Pool
Free Movie
Ferry
Fire Island
Brooklyn Children's Museum
LeVain Bakery
Castle at Central Park

did NOT get done:
Spa Castle
Ice Skating
Playdates with a few other friends that we wanted to playdate with
Intrepid
Flea Market
Victorian Gardens
Zoo
Pony Rides
Natural History Museum

The common denominator for most of the did NOT get done list, was that they all had green dollar signs next to them ON the list. Money was not flowing as easily as it sometimes does, so we did the best with what we had, and frankly, we had a fabulous time.

The highlight of our summer was our trip to Chicago to see baby brother come home, and reunite as a family.

Our unplanned/unexpected adventures:
Early Show
Today Show
West Point Fireworks
Hudson Valley Fresh Corn
Laying in the grass
Setting books out into the wild
New York Public Library
Big slide, north of CP Zoo

Girls, at times summer was hard on me, and I longed for today, but I also learned such a valuable lesson; that being your mom, experiencing life through you and with you, just that...is enough.

Thanks for being my beautiful daughters. I HEART YOU!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My Day.

6 AM-Wake Up

6:10-Workout

7:00-Pack lunches and snacks

7:15-Get ready for work.

7:40-Turn off the tv, instruct kids to get their shoes on.

7:55-Arrive at the sitter's house

8:45-Arrive back home

(Yes, it took 8 minutes to get there, 45 minutes to get home)

8:50-Arrive at the subway stop-read sign: Train not running

8:55-Arrive at alternate subway stop

9:10-Arrive at Times Square-Hail a cab

9:15-Arrive at Set, 15 minutes late.

9:15-4:00-
Wrangle baby who has never modeled before. Lots of tears, then lots of laughter. Up and Down. Up and Down.

Worry about Lolly's fever.

Miss 2 different castings for mom and daughter (the sick one)...worry about that.

Wrangle.

Eat. too much.

Print School Application. Fill it out. Worry about that.

Make a few calls.

Find out released from commercial.

Get booked on a separate job that I had been waiting on.

Finish wrangling. Body starting to hurt a little.

Buy frozen yogurt on the way home.

Go home to check on sick kid and almost-2nd-grader kid.

5-Make dinner.

Don't check my iphone once while with the kiddos.

6-6:30-Baths, jammies, brush teeth, and Back to School Books.

6:50-Listen to Phoebe's high-pitched voice talk about excitements and nerves for tomorrow.

6:55-Listen to Lolly tell me that her throat doesn't hurt if she eats really tiny bites and that she's not sick, and doesn't want to go to the doctor, she wants to go to SCHOOL!

7-Prayers, lights out.


Sneak Peek.

So, we had a photoshoot. Remember?




It was an emotionally-charged weekend for so many reasons, but I think everyone in the fam would agree with me when I write: This photoshoot was a great time. We had a lot of fun, and it was peaceful to be at the park and together with little distractions. I don't think I saw an iphone once.

Special thanks to our photographer, Rachel Gundersen.

Monday, September 07, 2009

School Year's Eve


A few weeks ago, as I found myself bemoaning the many days I had left of summer, after Phoebe was on the Early Show, I found inspiration to get me through .

Cookie's Chassie Post mentioned "School Year's Eve" during the segment, and I thought: Aha! That's what I'll do....throw a School Year's Eve party for my little Schoolies.

I had always admired Nie's post about their back-to-school festivities, and so a few things clicked into place. When I was not having the best time being mother this summer, I would direct my thoughts to how to make a special School Year's Eve Celebration.

I knew I couldn't cook a meal like Nie, but I thought I could choose a meaningful theme and come up with crowns. The theme came to me almost immediately: "We're all in this together!" I assigned Jason to find a scripture to go along with that theme, and he found a great one about being ONE (v. 27).

Etsy is a constant source of inspiration, and surprisingly, I only found one listing for crowns that I loved, and since her shop is located out of my hometown, I knew it was the choice for me.



The School Year's Eve website gave me the playlist idea:

Some of our favorites:
We're All in this Together (High School Musical)
Graduation (Vitamin C)
This is Not a Test (She & Him)
Outro: Learning (India Arie)
Dancing Through Life (Wicked)
Autumn in New York (Frank Sinatra)
Breaking Free (High School Musical)
Lessons Learned (Carrie Underwood)
Happy Working Song (Enchanted)
Do-Re-Mi
The Sound of Music (Sound of Music)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Better Get to Livin
Jesus & Gravity (Dolly Parton)
I am a Child of God (Gladys Knight)

Cookie Mag also helped us with our School Year's Eve banner, but I added some embellishment to the back.



Among our Party Festivities:
Curling Hair
Party Outfits
Crowns
Painting Fingers and Toes

Playing Little Einstein Game
Setting Family and Individual Goals
Discussing the Theme: We're all in this together!
Father's Blessings
Fashion Show of School outfits

Dinner, Cupcakes for dessert
Finally finishing the book we have been reading almost every night the entire summer.

Poor Lolly came down with a pretty high fever a few hours before our festivities began, but a dose of motrin got her through it, and I think she had a great time.

Honestly, I can't believe I have a 2nd grader. I am about to have 16 hours sans children each week. Ok, I have had that before, but in larger blocks and sometimes with 1 out of 2 of my kiddos. 16 hours. Not to be wasted. Exciting right?

Boys

If I had remembered that Jason was on his way to a Boys Weekend on Friday, I would have been down-trodden by Wednesday.

Thankfully it snuck right up on me and I made it through the weekend with the girls! (It helped to have a half-day break doing a Wedding photoshoot at Coney Island and then an evening out with WL to see 500 Days of Summer (Can I be Zooey Deschanel, just for a day?...I'd settle for the wardrobe she wore in the film.)

I told Jason he HAD HAD HAD To take some pictures. I sent him with my little point-n-shoot and told him to ask his brother if he couldn't figure out how to work it.

They did a pretty good job documenting the events!

Arriving in Texas DWF:

Their Dad arrived via his OWN plane:

The morning before the big game, they visited the JFK Assassination sight, here's Jason's brother and Dad:

Jason was so excited to see the new Cowboys Stadium:

He had great seats!:

And because he was there, BYU won! My iphone and I texted with him through the last few minutes. We make a great team.

Jason came home hoarse and handsome of course...Go Cougz!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Turtle Pond

The Posse found out, it is aptly named.




Our first time to turtle pond, proved fulfilling. We have poured over our New York City's Field Guide, and ended up seeing some ducks, turtles and blue dragonflies at Turtle Pond. And it is a quiet zone, which was music to this mommy's ears.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Quest


The Posse has been on a quest this spring and summer for the best macaroni and cheese. Pictured above is my favorite mac n cheese in the city: Chat N Chew. And when Dogmatic has it, I enjoy their mac n cheese as well.

We tried Schnippers. Hi to the blogger who saw us but didn't say Hi! PLEASE say hi next time, it's not weird or stalkerish.

The presentation gets a thumbs down. It looked watery but the texture was actually pretty thick. Crumbly top always gets a thumbs up in my book but the kiddos do not like a crumb top. I didn't mind this mac n cheese, but consider it not worth the calories, and the kids both gave it a thumbs down. But a thumbs up on the atmosphere and the vibrating flashing "you're food is ready" thingies.


Here we are at Olive Garden. We can only go here without Dad, because he doesn't like it, and now that he is Skinny Dad, he would just sit there drinking a glass of skim milk and pass on all those calories. Honey, you'd be proud of me, I was very calorie-conscious with my olive's garden choice, except for the breadstick(s).

Next up, KFC. I tried this years ago and I give it a double-barf. The kids did too. Ew.

Boston Market gets top marks from my kiddos. I used to eat it too. I'm pretty sure this is the worst mac n cheese to consume. I think my kids like the curly cue pasta and the texture. I find it a bit messy and unruly...and bright. no?


I'm pretty sure Pizzeria Uno serves good old fashioned Kraft. We serve that here too, when it is 99 cents at Target, especially when it is the Whole Wheat version.

Annie's Shells and Cheese is a popular treat in our house too. And that concludes are quest for the best mac n cheese.